Guide to Paris - Art in America Guide
City Guide


“John Russell: Gold”

through February 10, 2018

British artist John Russell argues for hybridity’s subversive potential in his new sculptures and mixed-medium paintings. Plastic flamingos perched atop thin metal rods sprout extra heads; paintings executed on translucent vinyl panels and lit from behind function simultaneously as silhouettes, transparencies, and paint-, gem-, and feather-encrusted collages. Meanwhile, a large photograph of a bird’s foot, digitally retouched to look like it’s growing a ghostly magenta paw, hints at a post-species future.

Image: John Russell, Silhouette, 2017, acrylic, inkjet and pigment on vinyl, plastic, acrylic iridescent gem, wood, steel, LED light, 37 x 26.9 x 8.2 inches. Copyright © John Russell. Courtesy of the artist, High Art, Paris, and Bridget Donahue, New York.

“Malick Sidibé: Mali Twist”

through February 25, 2018

The great Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, who died in 2016, made his reputation documenting Bamako’s youth culture of the 1960s and ’70s. Comprising over 250 prints, this retrospective surveys Sidibé’s studio portraits, party photographs, street scenes, and images of working Malians. Accompanying the show are works by Congolese painter JP Mika and Ghanaian sculptor and fantasy coffin maker Paa Joe, including the latter’s giant version of Sidibé’s Rolleiflex camera.

Image: Malick Sidibé, Nuit de Noël, 1963, gelatin silver print, 39 9/16 x 39 3/8 inches. Copyright © Malick Sidibé. Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris.


through March 23, 2018

The sculptures of César Baldaccini, better known simply as César, often combine allusions to the classical past with playful nods to the ephemeral values of the consumerist present. This retrospective, opening nearly twenty years after the French artist’s death in 1998, will survey five decades of his work with unconventional materials, ranging from plexiglass to crushed automobiles. A key figure in the Nouveau Réalisme movement of the 1960s, César was recognized for his “compression” works: silverware, soda cans, or chunks of colorful scrap metal crushed into dense cubes. In addition to creating these stoic blocks of mangled refuse, the artist conducted freeform performances he called “expansions”: dynamic happenings that involved, among other things, pouring liquid plastic into large blobs.

Image: César, Compression (Ricard), 1962, painted steel, 60 1/4 x 28 3/4 x 25 1/2 inches. MNAM / Centre Pompidou, Paris. Copyright © SBJ / ADAGP, Paris. Photograph copyright © Centre Pompidou, MNAM-CCI/Adam Rzepka / Dist. RMN-GP.

“André Derain 1904–1914: The Radical Decade”

through January 29, 2018

André Derain was a motivating force in the avant-garde developments of early twentieth-century painting, particularly Fauvism and Cubism. This focused exhibition presents work created prior to the artist’s military service in World War I. It includes paintings he produced in 1905 alongside Matisse in the French Mediterranean village of Collioure, gaining them the derisive name Fauves (Savages), and a selection of the brightly colored London cityscapes commissioned by art dealer Ambroise Vollard in 1906. In addition to presenting around seventy paintings, numerous works on paper, and several sculptures, the show displays some fifty previously unexhibited photographs by or of Derain, as well as prints, correspondence, and examples from his collection of Maori and African objects.

Image: André Derain, La Danse (The Dance), 1906, oil on canvas. Private collection. Copyright © ADAGP, Paris.


Art in America talks to artists, curators, and other leading figures about their favorite current exhibitions.

Collector Elisabeth van der Does-Szantyr on two Sheila Hicks shows in Paris

“The Hicks survey at the Centre Pompidou is extremely well done, her beautiful fiber pieces triumphing over the Pompidou’s rather difficult street-level space.”

Image: Installation view of “Sheila Hicks: Life Lines,” February 7-April 30, 2018, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Copyright © Centre Pompidou/Philippe Migeat.

MOCA LA director Philippe Vergne on three shows he’d like to see in Paris

“In Paris I would love to see Adam Broomberg and Olivier Chanarin’s show “Divine Violence” at the Pompidou”

Image: Adam Broomberg & Olivier Chanarin, Divine Violence (Genesis), 2013, set of 57 frames containing a total of 724 inkjet prints. Copyright © Broomberg & Chanarin, ADAGP 2018. Photograph copyright © Centre Pompidou / Dist. RMN-GP.

Critic and art historian Raphaël Cuir on two shows in Paris [Published 2018/01/02]

“The installation is subtle and serves the art’s intrinsic qualities.”

Image: Gisèle Freund, Adrienne Monnier, 1938. Copyright © Rmn–Grand Palais. Courtesy of the Marin Karmitz Collection, Paris. In “Resident Alien: The Marin Karmitz Collection,” La Maison Rouge, October 15, 2017–January 21, 2018.

Critic and historian Shelley Rice on Camille Henrot’s “Days Are Dogs” [Published 2017/12/05]

“I haven’t felt so much like a flaneur since I first read Baudelaire.”

Image: Exhibition view of “Days are Dogs,” Carte Blanche to Camille Henrot, Palais de Tokyo, October 18, 2017 – January 7, 2018. Courtesy of the artist and kamel mennour (Paris/London); König Galerie (Berlin); Metro Pictures (New York) © ADAGP, Paris 2017. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

Art critic Mathilde Roman on three shows in Paris [Published 2017/11/30]

“Up now in Paris are three exhibitions that are definitely worth seeing.”

Image: Installation view of “Clément Cogitore: The Impossible Community,” Le Bal, September 15-December 23, 2017. Copyright © Le Pal. Photo: Martin Argyroglo.

Composer and sound artist François J. Bonnet on “Animer le Paysage: Sur la Piste des Vivants” at La Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature [Published 2017/08/28]

Leave it to Paris to have a museum of hunting and nature. Composer and sound artist François J. Bonnet is the author of The Order of Sounds (2016), a study of different ways of listening. He recommends an exhibition at the museum titled “Animer le Paysage: Sur la Piste des Vivants,” which features works by contemporary artists on how we view nature.

Image: Alexandra Arènes, Cartogenèse du territoire de Belval, 2016, video, 2'14".



January 22–March 18, 2017
by Anne Rochette & Wade Saunders

The sculptor Not Vital has traveled widely and exhibited often since the early 1970s, living a peripatetic life that nurtures his art-making.

Image: Not Vital: Sta(i)re(s), 2013, stainless steel, approx. 17 by 28 by 19 feet; at Thaddaeus Ropac.